We need to rethink our approach to public health in the UK. Last week, Public Health England announced that one in ten adults in the UK will be at risk of diabetes by 2035. If correct, this means millions more living with diabetes, billions more spent treating the disease and thousands of people dying before their time.
Public health nursing has its origins in the mid 1800's when the inequalities of the 19th century, and the ruinous health outcomes of the poorest in society, became increasingly apparent. Following the Boer War, in which the Government struggled to find enough young people who were fit enough to recruit as soldiers, infant welfare in particular fast became a priority.
In order to save money in the future and to make our NHS sustainable, I believe the evidence shows that we must invest more in preventative medicine and in informing the lifestyle choices of the public. Supporting people to live independently healthy lives is just as important as treating ill health when it occurs.
The government's plan contains several good components, but I know that many experts in the field, many health care professionals and probably many parents will feel disappointed that it does not go far enough...there is a real danger that the government's plan will deliver too little, too late, and that major opportunities will have been missed.